Revelation 7: 2-4, 9-14 – 1 John 3: 1-3 – Matthew 5: 1-12a
I have often heard concerns expressed to me about the difficulty of being alone. Especially I have heard of this from those who are mellowing with age, or who have lost a spouse, but also from others of different ages. Strangely, too, it seems, being lonely does not necessarily mean being by one’s self. Rather, being lonely is felt because of not being understood or appreciated.
Fundamental to the message of Jesus Christ is the revelation of God’s love for us as well as the importance of each of us to our loving God, no matter who we are, no matter our particular circumstances we are in. We are not alone. God is with us
Consider the way that Jesus made this known in his ministry. His was not a solo mission. He gathered followers around himself and sent them out too announce his presence and his task of announcing Good News. Jesus reminded his followers that when they gathered together, He was with them. In fact, he told them that when they gathered in his name, he with them and would share his very Body and Blood with them. His presence with them would be a Real Presence.
We are also assured by our faith in Jesus Christ that, even when we are apart from others, by ourselves, we are not alone. Rather, we are joined with all the others who believe in God and in Jesus Christ.. We are part of those who profess faith as followers of Christ. We are part of what is called the Body of Christ, the Church. We are part of what we profess as a “Communion of Saints.”
It is this faith that we recall in the celebration of the Feast of All Saints. The source of the strength of our faith is, in fact, that we share this belief with millions of others including those who are living now and, especially today, with those who have lived in the past. Each one of us can recognize that we are not alone. Others have gone through life as we are doing now. They have done so with belief and trust in God and. Often, with even more difficulties than those which face us now..
These are the Saints, these are the Holy Ones we remember today. These are the ones whom Jesus called “blessed.” They were ordinary people. They were people who went through the things we do. They are those who mourned, who hungered for what is right, who were kind and merciful, who were often rejected and even persecuted. Christ called them to be one with him and with others in God’s love. They are like ourselves, described by John as children of God now who can even endure rejection and suffering and continue to sign sing praise and blessing to God.
We who believe in God and share in the Body of Christ are part of all of this. We are not alone. We are united with and in union with the Communion of All the Saints – both ordinary and extraordinary people – who know or who knew God’s love and reflected that love in their lives. Ir is as this Communion of Saints of which we are a part, blessed as we are in so many way, that we honor and praise our good and gracious God.